When the weather is warm and sunny, it’s great to get outdoors. Especially in summer, kids and adults participate in outdoor sports more frequently.
During summer months, when children are engaging in strenuous activities outdoors, it’s important to remember that high temperatures and high humidity can be dangerous. Parents and coaches should prevent children from playing too strenuously in such conditions. Children are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke because their bodies are less efficient at cooling.
Use these simple precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses:
- Be sure you and your children drink lots of water throughout the day before you become thirsty.
- Supervise children playing or exercising in the heat and watch for signs of heat distress.
- Make sure children take frequent breaks to rest and cool down.
- If possible, exercise or play in a shady area.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing that breathes.
- Be especially cautious if it is very humid. Excessive humidity makes it harder for the body to cool itself through sweating. Limit the duration of practices and provide frequent breaks.
- If symptoms of heat exhaustion appear, stop the activity right away, move to a cool spot and take lots of water.
- If heat stroke is apparent, go to the emergency room right away.
- Become familiar with symptoms of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.